Stickman Readers' Submissions September 2nd, 2008

A No Win Situation

We were bored of wandering around the local shopping centre and when she asked me where we would be going next I didn't know how to respond. We'd done the usual movie and dining routine. She didn't feel like a coffee and I didn't feel
like an ice cream. Where would be the next port of call?

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I really quite liked her and while my pad was only a 40 baht cab ride away, I just didn't want to be overly forward and invite her back on a first date. That trepidation was countered when she sheepishly asked me if we could just go back to my place
to relax.

I wasn't sure if I liked the way this was going. She really was lovely and at some stage I would try and jump her but I really quite liked her and frankly going back to my place on the first date with a girl I could potentially see a future with
could kill any chance of a relationship there and then. But I hadn't envisaged the date lasting this long and didn't know where else to take her – and frankly I didn't want the date to continue. We'd had a good time and I hinted
that we should part ways and meet again the next day. I reluctantly agreed that we would go back to my place.

A few minutes later we were standing out on my balcony looking out over the Big Mango, laughing, smiling and enjoying each other's company. We settle down on my sofa and I am relieved to see that she parks herself on one side while I park myself
on the other. There's a good three feet between us and not the sexual tension I had dreaded. Yeah, if you like a lady and can see the possibility of it going somewhere, the chance of a relationship, jumping her quickly is a good way to kill

Thai music videos played in the background as we talked about our pasts. Past flames, long-extinguished dreams and revised plans for the future, in a world we both agreed was moving in a direction that neither of us liked.

We all have secrets in our past, actions we are ashamed of or things we just know would cast us in a negative light, especially by those who have yet to get to know us. But a few secrets aside, I was honest with her about my past. I told her about my
failed marriage to another Thai lady not that dis-similar in background from her and I told her how the said lady lives very close by, not even a stone's throw away as it happens. She found this amusing but did't dwell on it for long.

We'd met early in the day, spent much of the day together and the sun would be setting soon. As much as I enjoyed her company I felt it was time to for the date to come to and end and I subtly mentioned that traffic would be getting heavy. If she
wanted to miss the worst of it I would accompany her to the local motorbike boys who would deliver her to the skytrain and her carriage home. Delivering her to the motorbike boys may not be the most chivalrous activity for a first date but the
soi where I live sees little in the way of taxis and the motorbike boys are the easiest way to get to the skytrain. Besides, she had already told me that she uses motorbikes regularly and while she is not thrilled at that choice of transport,
she uses them when they are the best option.

Downstairs we went, out through the lobby and as we were crossing the road the first physical contact beyond than the light brushing of arms was made as she grabbed my hand. I took her over to the motorbike boys, told her the price was 30 baht and smiled
as she waied me goodbye. I would call her the next day, thank her for a pleasant time and suggest one of my favourite riverside restaurants for a slightly more romantic date.

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I returned to my condo and settled in for a relaxing evening.

Later that evening I was surprised to see her name come up on my mobile. She was calling me. Unusual for a Thai lady to call following a first date – they usually wait for the man to make the next move, I answered the phone with a tinge of concern. Had
she got home ok? Had there been an accident? I just knew something was wrong.

Her tone was rather different to the happy go lucky lady I had bid farewell to a couple of hours earlier. She was not exactly accusatory, but neither was she happy…

The motorbike taxi rider who had taken her to the skytrain had told her that I was a "jao shoo" <an adulterer, unfaithful, a cheat in relationshipsStick>. He had told her that she was very
lucky that my wife hadn't seen her and that if my wife had seen her, she would have been in trouble! The rider went on to say that he was from the same province as my wife and that I was "jao shoo number one", a good, polite
customer but a terrible cheat on my wife. My date was rather upset at this. I had told her that I was single and how she was hearing that I was married! To make matters worse, the motorcycle rider had told her that if she did not give him 100
baht he would tell me wife about her!

I had told her the truth. I had split with my ex-wife two years ago and she moved out but into another place nearby. In fact we still live in the same complex. My ex uses the motorcycle boys every day to go to the skytrain to get to work and she always
chooses this particular guy if he is there because, as I said, they come from the same province. Being from the same province they obviously have certain things in common and seem to have something of a bond. This particular rider seems to see
himself as some sort of protective figure of my ex.

The rider had told her that I am "jao shoo number one" and that I have taken many, many ladies back to the condo, a complete lie. But what made her believe him was that some of the things we had talked about earlier that day,
about my work, my past etc were things he could verify. I had told her my ex's name and he had used the same name! Why should she not believe him when in fact what he was saying about me being married was all lies? He had inadvertently verified
a number of things I had told her and now it looked to her as though I was in fact living with my wife in the condo where she had spent the afternoon! She was angry as well as a little scared.

It took quite some time to explain to her that all that he was saying was a lie. I was not cheating on anyone as I was no longer married and neither was I in any relationship. As much as I hated to say it, I told her I would show her my divorce certificate
to prove to her that that relationship was well and truly over.

I really liked this girl. She had much going for her and many of the qualities I have been looking for in a long-term relationship. She is a real straight talker, speaks decent English, her major at university, and while she may not be rich – few Thai
women the average farang meets are – she has a decent paying job and her own money. I might have been thinking a little far into the future, but I liked her and wanted a chance to form a relationship with her.

But the feelings have been damaged. She now has all sorts of question marks over me because of this fxxxxn motorcycle rider. It really frustrates me that I have been a good customer of this motorcycle rank for a number of years yet they turn on me like
this for no reason.

The big question is what can I do about it? I don't know that I can pursue things with her now. It is simply not worth it to try and win back her trust even though I didn't do anything wrong in the first place. Well, asking her to take the motorbike
was clearly a mistake!

I can hardly go over and confront the rider as he will deny it all. All of the other riders will side with him. If I fall out of favour with them then I will not be able to use the services of any of the riders and if I was stupid enough to seek revenge
– I am not – then it would come back to haunt me. About that there can be no doubt.

It is bullshit like this that makes me wonder what the hell I am doing here. I have tried to create good, positive relationships with Thais yet I am stabbed in the back like this.

The incident is not big enough for me to take it further. That doesn't make it any less frustrating.

What can I do?

The simple answer is nothing. It's hopeless. It's a no win situation.

Stickman's thoughts:

That's a really sad, disappointing story and a bad reflection on the Thai character.

You did nothing wrong and are betrayed. Unfortunately some lower class Thais – and motorcycle riders are REALLY low – are known for grabbing an opportunity when it arises. This guy obviously did that.

You are wise NOT to seek revenge. It would almost certainly come back and bite you.

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